The son of direct marketing pioneer, Richard DeVos, Dick DeVos runs a very successful charity organization along with his wife called the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation was begun in 1989 and supports school choice, as well as the arts, community health, social justice, leadership, and the revitalizing of neighborhoods in Western Michigan.
While school choice is a major factor in the DeVos family philanthropy, the faith-driven conservative family is also interested in developing the leaders of tomorrow. At times, the family has been at odds with libertarian and progressive groups due to their conservative leanings. But overall, the organization has done a lot of good in supporting school choice legislation throughout the United States. While funded mostly by religious schools and organizations such as Focus on the Family, their work has been positive overall for school choice of any kind.
School Choice is Big, But There’s More
While it’s true that school choice is certainly at the forefront of focus for Dick DeVos, there’s more than just that when it comes to funding and philanthropy. Political charities and organizations are another passion. Being one of the wealthiest people in the United States, with a net worth of $5 billion, donating toward what he feels are good causes has become a habit.
Because Betsy is very involved in the political scene, many of these organizations have been of that nature. Religious charities have also been a favorite, with funds going to the aforementioned Focus on the Family, The Zuni Christian School, and Inner City Christian Federation. The latter used the funding to help homeless youth and families with emergency shelter and counseling.
Due to their conservative leanings, some of the other grantees have included the likes of Freedomworks, AIE, and The Heritage Foundation. They’ve also donated generously to the Republican Party, putting funding into Rick Santorum, as well as Newt Gingrich. Dick also ran for the Governor of Michigan title in 2006. Betsy DeVos formerly held a chair in The Republican Party.
However, the charitable and philanthropic acts of Dick DeVos are not limited to religious and political foundations. In fact, the DeVos family put up a generous $50 million donation to start a new children’s hospital, which was named after Helen DeVos, Richard’s wife. Among the supported non-partisan charities, ArtPrize is sponsored by Dick and Betsy and is an international art competition held annually in Grand Rapids.
See Dick DeVos’ contact information at Windquest to get a hold of him.